Bridging the communication gap between evaluation and decision making: the Network of Knowledge Approach for Europe

2012 EEEN Forum / Evaluation

Andrew Pullin, Centre for Evidence-Based Conservation at Bangor University

With international initiatives taking major steps forward on biodiversity data, monitoring and evalua­tion, it becomes increasingly urgent to make knowledge derived from these initiatives accessible for decision-making. Discussions about IPBES and other approaches to improve the science-policy inter­face have shown that it is not easy to formu­late a single approach to address the topic of biodiversity and ecosystem services for several reasons: (i) the knowl­edge available is scattered across many disciplines, organisations, institutions and individual experts and often col­lected using a range of protocols; (ii) loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services is a global challenge, but problems and their solutions will often need a focus on the local or regional level; (iii) based on the recent experiences from the climate change debate and the IPCC, conduct of knowledge synthesis, communication of results, and their uncer­tainties need to be transparent, objective and independent of vested interest.

In the EU-FP7 project KNEU (Biodiversity Knowledge) a prototype structure is being devel­oped to address these challenges – a Network of Knowledge on biodiversity expertise in Europe ( The net­work approach will employ different modes of work, in­cluding expert-based, evidence-based and adaptive manage­ment approaches, all of which require different processes to involve knowledge holders and to satisfy the knowl­edge requirements for decision-making. Such integrated and open approaches will be urgently needed on the regional scale and, linked to global and subglobal demands to fulfil requests from the global conventions, will feed the work of IPBES, will make wider use of monitoring and evaluation data.

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